TRAINING IN CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY (FOR M.B.B.S STUDENTS) Dr.T.V.Rao MD Medical Microbiology is a science which needs thehuman interaction and dynamic perceptions for effectiveimplementation to the benefit of our patients. With the rapidadvancement of new discoveries in microbiology research, manyteachers continuously look for new teaching techniques that will givetheir undergraduate students a more fascinating and rewardingexperience in the course. The teaching of Microbiology in IndianMedical curriculum suffers much lacunae as the syllabus continues tobe outdated contain many matters to be deleted and many neednew innovations. In some medical colleges, students’ exposure tomicrobiology and infection is minimal and experience with Problembased learning (PBL) has been mixed. We personally have limitedopportunity in PBL teaching as this part of teaching is kept in the finalstages of learning in the curriculum, but have fought hard to protectthe extensive microbiology course. Now the infection continues tobe major cause of morbidity and mortality in spite of severaltechnological advances. With advancement of technology we aresubjecting our patients to altering human physiology as inimmunosuppression; cancer therapies, and many unknownpathogens are encroaching on human as Opportunistic infections. Infuture we need Doctors and Microbiologists who can understand theissues related to infection in a problem solving way rather than justpioneers in the theoretical knowledge. I wish to make a module with simple clinicalmicrobiology question where students become active learners. Inthis module all of students (each of you) will be assigned to a group
of three or four. This group will be assigned a pathogenic microbe(Mycobacterium tuberculosis), chosen on the basis of the existingcurriculum. Individually, each of the student should read the chapterin which the microbe and its effect on humans or other hosts isdescribed. The students were given freedom, then, they should writea brief case history of a particular clinical scenario starring thismicrobe. Your scenario should include details pertinent to the case,as well as two or three questions to help the reader. The case shouldbe about one page long, including questions. Group effort isrequired. If there difficulties the teachers will solve the problem. Inyour work as a group, please be sure that each member actuallycontributes. You will grade each other on this at the end. Eachstudent should then submit a separate page with the case andquestion. The group will then find a recent academic publication onthis particular organism in the library and submit the abstract to mefor verification. Again, group activity is requested. Once you areconvinced that contents are relevant briefly summarize this article intwo pages. Each student in the group should then read thedescription of the organism in question in standard and prescribedtext books of Medical Microbiology, (Eg Greenwood – Textbook ofMedical Microbiology), and submit a short two page description ofthe organism. This should include identifying characteristics, such asgram reaction, specific nutritional requirements, shape, etc., as wellas a picture of the organism.Studetns finally present and summarisethe learning process asA pictureb. Your case and answersc. A one paragraph summary of your writing with reference of theText book you have consulted.
d one paragraph summary of your academic articlee. Three key characteristics that set this organism/disease apartf. A background paragraph with important information on thismicrobe or disease that is not found elsewhere.Empowering the students with Seminarsthis is a cooperative learning project taps into the energy,enthusiasm, and creativity of the students in the classroomwithout compromising course content. Although the seminaris open ended and involves significant departure from atraditional lecture format, student seminars communicatecourse content more effectively and efficiently. The activityrequires students to present information about a disease andits relevance to individuals in the class and to our society as awhole. Team presentations are scheduled in the teachingschedule, and each student is given 5-7 minutes. In this way,most course lectures begin with a high energy, with creativepresentations. The project provides an opportunity todevelop oral and written communication skills, refineteamwork methods, and gain a better understanding of thehuman impact of infectious disease. The oral presentationsare strictly limited to 5–7 minutes. The time and page limitshelp students to focus on the essential features of thedisease so time is not lost on irrelevant discussions and cometo the point attitude is emphasized. We teachers areresponsible for making the matters work in non-biased formemphasize that students need to involve each member of theteam to devise a creative way to present the material so that
other students will find it interesting. Giving students achance to present classroom material lets them express theircreativity, humour, imagination, and dramatic skills. Althoughthe presentations are at times outrageous and very different,the disease features are still clearly presented. When groupsfocus on realism and the impact that infectious disease hason an individual or culture, their presentations are strikingand effectively communicate the importance of control andprevention strategies to fight infectious disease. If you reallymonitor the students with faith in their potentials, I waspersonally amazed at how much better the studentscommunicated the information via these creativepresentations than the traditional lecture format could.Let us change the culture in our medical teaching from manyof our dogmatic ideas and didactic lectures.Presentations fall basically into three categories: Computer presentations that depend heavily onpresentation graphics. This enables students to clearlyorganize the content of the presentation while takingadvantage of photographs and animations to enhance thecontent.• Multifaceted presentations including videos, skits andcomputer graphics. Individuals from hospitals, clinics, andlaw enforcement were recruited to add realism to the videos.Many students use humour to draw on popular culture increative ways.
A Request to Medical Microbiology TeachersOur Curriculum in Medical microbiology needs a change tothe emerging needs of the society, infectious diseasespresentations and professional demands from our owncolleagues. We teachers have a great role to make the betterstudents with Infectious disease concerns. I request all theMedical Microbiologists to send the innovative ideas tochange our teaching and training methods in no more than1000 words in word document format so same may bepublished as e- book on Clinical Microbiology for the benefitof Students and Teachers.Request suggestions, comments and contributing articles toDr.T.V.Rao MDProfessor and HOD MicrobiologyTravancore Medical College, KollamKerala, 691589 IndiaEmaildoctortvrao@gmail.comMob 9961785124